Ferdinand Kramer Papers

Institution: University of Chicago Library - Special Collections Research Center
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Abstract
Biographical/Historical Note:
Ferdinand (Ferd) Kramer was a real estate developer and longtime resident of Chicago’s South Side. He became chairman of father's firm, Draper and Kramer, Inc, in 1944, serving in that position until 1995. Kramer championed the Prairie Shores and the Lake Meadows housing complexes between the late 1940s and 1960s, and the Dearborn Park housing complex in the 1970s. Kramer saw new urban housing developments as a key way to keep middle income residents, particularly white families, in America's struggling cities. Kramer was also a proponent of managed integration, ensuring a racially diverse population within housing complexes through the use of racial quotas. Kramer's efforts at managed integration were frustrated when the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ruled that these practices were in violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Scope and Content Note:
Ferdinand Kramer (1901-2002), real estate developer, devoted much of his life to projects for urban renewal and housing integration on Chicago's South Side. The papers include correspondence and speeches on issues of urban development, as well as materials relating to his work as a member of Urban American Inc., and as a developer for the Dearborn Park development in Chicago's South Loop. The collection also includes an autograph collection, and a small amount of correspondence of Ferdinand Kramer's father, Adolf Kramer.

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